Tag Archives: Asia

Chicken tomato masala

Serves: 2 Persons

Ingredients:

500gms Boneless Chicken

Fresh tomato puree* of 5 medium tomatoes

2  Paste of two Medium raw  onions

oil

2 Tsp (Heaping) Red chili powder

1 Tsp (Not Heaping) Dhania Powder

1/4 Tsp Haldi Powder

1 Tsp Salt

3 heaping Table spoons Curd

2 Table Spoons Garlic Paste

2 Table spoon Ginger paste

3 Table spoon Cashew Nuts

Method:

* To make fresh tomato puree boil water in a pan and put 5 tomatoes in it after scooping their eyes out and making a plus sign with a knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. after 5 minutes throw out the hot water and rinse  the tomatoes in cold water. Now peel off the skins and blend the tomatoes in a mixer.

Heat some oil in a cooker and add the fresh tomato puree. Cook till oil separates. Add the onion paste cook till oil separates. Add all the dry masalas with some water and cook till oil separates. Add curd and mix it well in hi-flame till oil separates.

Add the chicken pieces and cook on low flame for about 30 minutes.

(Take the specified amount of ginger, garlic and cashew nuts and make a paste in a mixer. Add a little water so that there are no lumps.)

Add this paste to the masala in the cooker and fry well till oil separates and the white color of the cashew paste is gone.

By now the chicken should be done. Serve hot with fresh chapaties.

 

Advertisements

The Flowers Are Back!

Sisodia Rani Ka Baagh

Sisodia Raani Ka Baagh,Jaipur,Rajasthan,India.

No two ways about it Jaipur is in the middle of the monsoon. Though the rains are taking there own sweet time to come as and when they see fit. A couple of days of rain and the rain lily is in full bloom. Pink, yellow, white, big or small the rain lily leads the riot of color which is going to follow. The Aravali mountain range, guarding Jaipur for all these centuries, has a solid cover of green, which is going to last till after the monsoon has left Jaipur. The people of Jaipur & the tourists are thronging the three Forts, Jaigarh, Nahargarh & Amber, during and after the showers. During the summers the people were eating to live, now they are living to eat, choorma-dal-baati & other rajasthani delicacies. No weekend goes by which does not see a ‘Goth’ in a picturesque locations surrounding Jaipur. The plant nurseries of Jaipur are chock- a- block full of  various plants in anticipation of the huge demand by public. The people usually plant trees during monsoons as they take root relatively easily. Also, others would like to replace the plants which did not survive the harsh summers.

So if you were thinking of going on a picnic, planting a rose garden or visiting folks in Jaipur, then now is the time!
Pink Rain Lily

A Pink Rain Lily in full bloom

Yellow Rose

A yellow rose in full bloom.

Viratnagar

Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

Viratnagar is about 86 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Shahpura-Alwar route. You have to turn for Viratnagar at Shahpura on Jaipur Delhi Highway.

But why Viratnagar? Who goes to Viratnagar? You might ask.

A little time invested in visiting the sights this town has to offer will pay rich dividends, you will see.

Viratnagar  has been a witness to a lot of history being made. According to the excavations done around this town people have been living here since the prehistoric times.

Accorading to the Mahabharat,King Virat founded the city Viratnagar, and the Pandavs spent thirteen years of ‘Agyatvas’(exile) here. This is the city which saw much wheeling & dealing to broker peace to avoid the great war of Mahabharat. Ancient travelers have mentioned their visits to the city. The river Banganga flows near by, a fair is held here every year.

Beejak Ki Pahari
Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

This serene site is in the lap of the Aravali mountain range. On a ridge under a rock shaped like a Cannon there is an ancient Hanuman temple.
Hanuman Temple, Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar
And there are remains of a Budhist Monastry & a Budhist Stupa shrine from the Mauryan times. This site was found in work done in 1935-36. This is a protected site of ASI.
Budhist Ruins on The Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

In recent development work done here a cement shelter has been built at the foot of the hillock.

Ganesh Mandir and the Local Museum. The museum has some relics of great importance and antiquity from the Ashokan period.
Ganesh Temple above the museum,Viratnagar

Viratnagar

A stepwell on the way to Panch Malla Mahal badly in need of restoration.

A Stepwell,Viratnagar

Panch Mala Mahal. Raja Man Singh had this imposing structure made.  Emperor Akbar used to stay here on his way to the Ajmer shrine.

Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

I think he has seen a lot of tourists pass by this palace.

Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

The paintings on the domes of the chatries of the palace.

Fresco in the Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan.

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan, Mughal Gate,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan, Mughal Gate,Viratnagar

Maybe the ghost who walks was here! This is his mark.

The Phantom's Cave

Enhanced by Zemanta

Got To Have Gota!

Recently my wife went shopping in the Johri Bazaar and came home with some spools & a couple of cards of  gota ribbons. When I asked her what she would do with them she said that they were for a saree. But she had no idea which saree she would use them on. Between you & me I doubt if she even has a saree that could be trimmed with gota ribbon. That is the appeal & the use of gota in Rajasthan.
Gota

To put it simply gota is lace made with silver or gold colored metal or plastic threads.

In Rajasthan, gota trimmed clothes for men, women & children are  used on all festive & ceremonial  occasions and marriages &  marriages proposals, celebration of the birth of the latest child of the family or even  the last journey to the funeral pyre of the lady of the house. Even the idols of our deity are dressed with costumes trimmed & decorated with various types of gota. Our holy books are treasured in swatches hemmed with gota. Gota work is even used in making enchanting wall hangings.
Gota

Gota work or lappe-ka-kaam has seen the days when pure silver & pure gold threads were used to make these ribbons to trim the clothes of Royalty & people of Rajasthan. These, gold & silver gota, ribbons were  in use till about as recently as 1970s. But due to the high prices these metals command now a days, plastic and other metal thread ribbons are in vogue today. The metals with which they are made may have changed but their use has not lessened or their demand decreased in these modern times among the Rajasthani women.

Gota

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bored In Jaipur?

Sunrise

If for some reason you have to stay in Jaipur for a longish period of time-what do you do-how do you pass the time of the day? You have been to all the Forts in Jaipur, shopped for all your friends, seen all the museums, now what?

You can delve a bit deeper in to the Jaipur other people breeze through, here are some options…

1. Make friends with other expats living and working here.

2. Learn a new skill. If art is your forte you can learn miniature painting from the masters.

Or you can learn yoga.

Or you can learn to read, write  & speak a local language like hindi or sanskrit.

Or you can live in the elephant village near  Amber and learn how to care for the elephants and how to train them & drive them.

Or if you want to continue your higher education the Rajasthan University has an excellent faculty for the foreign students wishing to do just that.

Or you can learn to cook the various local indian cuisine.

3.  You could ask the expats already working here, if they would like a helping hand at their trade, while you gained a few pointers in their trade.

4.You could write a book!

5. If not that you could write an article about your trip for a journal back home.

6. You could write a blog about your stay in Jaipur from your personal point of view.

7. You could get involved with a charity in Jaipur, there are lot of reputable ones around.

8.You could take classes in teaching your mother tongue to the young folk of Jaipur.

9. If books are your forte you could help out at the Jaipur Literature Festival and meet writers galore!

10. If you still want to travel some more there are places  near by which you can visit for a day or two and return to Jaipur. Here is a list.

11.You could learn to dance a local dance like kathak.

12. You could learn to play a local musical instrument like sitar or harmonium.

13. You could teach the young folk of Jaipur how to do some popular western dances you might be proficient at.

14. You could hire a Royal Enfield Motorcycle and explore the nearby villages.

15. You could hire a bi-cycle to explore the city.

16. You could make videos of your daily life to put up on www.youtube.com

17. You could start a 365 day  photo project to post  still photos of your daily round to  www.photoblog.com a photo blogging website.

18. If you are learning hindi and like movies you could watch a hindi  Bollywood movie everyday. It will improve your hindi & who knows you might fall in love with the song and dance in the hindi movies.

19. You could help manage a hotel or guesthouse catering to foreign tourists.

20. You could learn to fly kites the way Indians do. It is a very addictive past time.

21. You could make Indian friends. They will welcome you in their lives!

22. If you are a Motorsport enthusiast you can go for weekly Off The Road (OTRs).

23. You could race bikes on a dirt track.

24. You could do social service in an old age home or a hospice.

25. You could teach your local cuisine to the young ladies of Jaipur.

26. You could read the Hindu scriptures, Ramayan & Mahabharat.

27. You could do a course at the Jaipur Vipassana Centre

28. You could visit the local fairs and festivals taking place round the year.

29. You could take long early morning walks in the hills surrounding Jaipur.

30. You could try out all the heritage liquors available in the local market and find out the ingredients used, the legends associated with the liquor and the family history of  the house to which the liquor recipe belongs to.

31.You could learn to play Polo. Or learn horse riding. Or you could watch Polo matches during the Polo season.

32. You could buy a book detailing the birds of north India and go birding in the parks and the hills and lakes surrounding Jaipur.

33. You could reaffirm your marriage vows according to hindu customs in a local temple. Or you could have a grand affair and get married again in a Rajput wedding ceremony and have your friends flown in to witness the ceremony at one of the heritage hotels.

34. You could honey moon at the luxurious  Rambagh Palace or at the Rajvilas Hotel.

If I have missed an activity please fell free to add it in your comments to this post. I will be glad to add it to the list.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Photos Of Some Common Birds Found In The Parks & Gardens Of Jaipur.

OWL

Spotted Owlet (Athene brama indica)

Recently a cousin of mine,Madhav Rathore, an experienced, enthusiastic birder, bought a  Canon EOS 7D with a huge telephoto lens. When I kidded him about buying   such an expensive  camera he insisted on taking me birding in  the Central Park one evening. That is when the use of the camera became apparent to me.  He was shooting birds perched at the top of tallest of trees where as I was limited to shooting squirrels and birds sitting in front of me in the grass.

But I got hooked to birding that day. I am no expert birder but by my own experience it is far easier to watch birds today. I take a picture of the whichever  feathered friend which dares to cross my path and later on I put an ID to it with the help of a couple of Books. Where the books fail The Net comes  to help. This method helps to engrave the names of the birds in the mind too. So the next time I come across the same bird I  say smugly,” That is Brahminy Mayna you know !” and so on…

One thing you will notice is the exotic names of the birds.  I can bet you powers that be who gave names to the birds put more thought in naming the birds than in naming their newborn sons. They have names like starling,Black  Drongo,Grebe,darter etc. And each bird has its own charm. Own uniqueness which will hold you in thrall.

I have been to the Central Park many times before the day we went birding but I  did not notice the birds before that day. Oh I could see the pigeons and the doves but the other beauties were hidden behind a muslin curtain as it were. Somebody had to  point the birds out to me. Do you know  usually we see two types of Doves in Jaipur one is Laughing Dove and the other is the Eurasian Collared Dove. And that the house sparrow may be endangered soon enough! Who would have thought of it!

I have been posting photos I take around Jaipur to www.flickr.com for some time now. If you see the stats on the photos you will realize that people like photos of flowers and plants more than photos of birds. I do not know why that is so but we have to be more aware of the beauty surrounding us in the form of birds more. Birds forage in the early morning but people go for their morning walk just then too. So the birds perch themselves on the highest branches of the trees. I suppose they come down later. I do not know.There are some birds which do not mind people at all and are all over the grass in the Park.

Now a days in every home there is a computer and a digital camera. All you have to do is to buy a beginners guide to birding. Be sure to buy one which has photos of the birds & not sketches. You can graduate to the books with sketches  later.

Now find some time for yourself and the birds and go for a walk in the nearest Park or garden. Happy Birding.

I am posting  some photos of the Birds I found.

Brahminy Myna/Starling

Red-vented Bulbul

Black-Rumped Flameback

Black Drongo

Bank Myna

Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna) - Adult

Green Bee Eater

Asian Koel Male

Rufous Treepie

Partridge

Purple Sun bird female

Eurasian Golden Oriole

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Jaipur-At A Glance

Birlamandir
Listed here below are some of the important posts about the city of Jaipur on this Blog for your ready reference.

BIRDING

This Pink City-In 1000 Words!

Museums

Shopping

Jaipur By Night

Books

Clubs

Gardens

Morning Walk

Birding

Thikana Govind Devji

Libraries

Jantar Mantar

Around Jaipur

Some Recipes

Jaipur Marriages

Where to Eat-1

Where To Eat-2

WORSHIP

Karan’s Guesthouse

Almost Twilight

An old man in the Central Park of Jaipur

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Bullet Riders

The Bullet Riders From Belgium

Corraled

In December 2009  a team of four Belgians namely Versprille N., Crispyn Ann, Fruytier Els and De Mol Alain arrived in Jaipur at the  Karan’s Guesthouse from New Delhi on their way to Agra and back to Delhi. Versprille Nicoas and Crispyn Ann were on their second visit to the Guesthouse. Their first visit was in November 2006. This time around they decided to spice up the trip by doing the Golden Triangle Circuit  on Bullet Royal Enfield Motor-cycles. When they arrived at  the guesthouse the racket the four motorcycles made  had to be heard to be believed. The magic of the Bullet’s beat never palls. It has enthralled generations from all countries.After a 2 night stay they left for Dausa on Jaipur-Agra-Highway to visit Abhaneri and the haunted ruins of  Bhangarh.

A Quick Bite To Eat In Jaipur

Times Food Guide-First Jaipur Edition

Times Food Guide-First Jaipur Edition

This post is about best of the snacks Jaipur has to offer to its residents.You will share my feelings when I say that these shops etc. are world famous in Jaipur.But however hard I might try to list them all I am bound to miss your favourite shop selling the finger licking delicacy to eat.So feel free to list the eating joint in the comments section.I will try to put them in the main post later.

Let us start with some of the more famous and obvious ones.

Lassiwalla, on M.I.Road, right next to the Charmica Co-Operative Leather goods shop. They open early and offer lassi in earthen kullhars.In the summer months a kullhar of Lassi is a welcome thirst quencher.

In the galli next to the Zeiss Optical Shop there are two shops selling Indian snacks made of gram flour just 25 steps from the lassiwalla. Not a bad idea to have some thing hot and spicy to eat before the lassi.

LMB in Johri Bazaar,Sury Mahal on M.I.Road, Bistro,Near Panchwati Circle,Raja Park,Chawalas in Raja Park all offer Chaat in hygienic conditions. At  the Bistro you can mix your own Paani Puri.LMB offers a legendary Allo Ki Tikiya & Dahi Baras besides Achars & Sherbets & Mangoris & ghewars & phini you can buy to take home.Their forte is stuff made in desi ghee ( All joints above are full fledged vegetarian restaurants also).

Bakeries

Cake Town,G-1,V-Jai City Point, Ahimsa Circle, Ashok Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur-1, M.96609 96609

Hot Breads,on Sarojani Marg,Bake Hut,On M.I.Road,Bakewell in Raja park.They offer Top of the line baked goods.Venus Bakery on Subash marg,one of the older bakeries,is also good.

National Handloom  offer snacks in their stores it self.Gaurav Tower in Malviya Nagar has its own open air Chaat Bazaar.

On station Road there  is Rawat Misthan Bhandar and Kanji sweets shops.Try Rawat’s Mawa Ki Kachori, Pyaz Ki Kachori, Mirchi Bara and Ras Mali (Indrani).Try Kanji’s Dal Ki Kachori.They offer lot of other snacks and sweets too.

Try Pandit Ji’s Kulfi in the Gangori Bazaar. It is very good.

Milky Way, off Bhagwan Das Road offers numerous flavours of Shakes and other snacks.

Vijay Store on Chaupar , for namkins ( especially salted peanuts and masala chana).

Samrat Restaurant in Kishan Pole Bazaar for Dal Ki Kachori And Samosas and Gazak in a near by shop. Near by Bhagat Mishtan Bhandar for Thal Ki Barfi & Boondi Kae Laadoo.

If you decide to see a hindi pot boiler in the Golcha Cinema hall Complex be sure to have some samosas.

Chawala Sweets on Mooti Doongri Road offers some great mouth watering Kesar Barfi. And their paneer is so good people eat it there and then with salt and pepper masala.

Off Tonk Road,Near Kuttons Show room Shankar Misthan Bhandar Offers some great khasta dal ki kachories.

On Subash Marg, Williams Juice bar offer great Papaya Shake.

On the link Road on Nehru Bazaar you can have Sugar Cane Juice all the year round.

On Chatoriyon ka churaha on Bapu Bazaar link Road You can have great Paani Puri.

Where To Shop When In Jaipur

Jaipur A Fun Place Even By Night

Karan’s Guesthouse

Enhanced by Zemanta